Love Affair With Kale Chips

After a weekend visit with my mom she got me hooked on Kale chips. I know they are the rage and I have seen them for sale in Whole Foods. She showed me how to make them, it is very easy. However I will say that if you don’t bake them long enough they will be too soft and feel like you are eating cooked tissues.

Kale is a superfood with HUGE health benefits, such as:

  • Being high in Vitamin A , K and Iron
  • Low Calorie and high in Fiber-1 cup=36 calories, 0 Fat
  • Kale is high in Calcium
  • Kale keeps the liver healthy
  • A great green that helps fight free radicals in body

Kale

With all these great health benefits, eating a bit of Kale seems like a good idea.

Kale Chips:

  • Purchase a large ready to use bag of Kale. Glory Foods has one.
  • Turn oven on 275 degrees
  • Spread a layer of kale on cookie sheet
  • Use any flavored oil of your choice- I used Toasted Sesame oil. Use about 1-2 Tbsp and massage it into the greens to soften them.
  • Add some salt
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, toss half way.
  • Be sure that when you take them out they are fully baked. Should be light feeling as you move them around.

Try it, and play with the temperature on you oven. The good news that if you are on Weight Watchers the kale is zero points and you only count the oil.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Spring Wreath Inspiration

My inspiration

My inspiration

I went to visit my friend Julie today and LOVED the wreath on her front door. Well in her “spare” time she made it. I was so envious, I really liked it a lot. She gave me inspiration to head on down to Michael’s and buy myself some Springtime flowers.

I had no idea what to do, so I perused  the flower aisles looking for things that I liked. I selected a few items not to sure on how to proceed, but I was determined to figure it out. Picked up some glue sticks and ribbon and wreath, plus flowers, total $33. Not too bad, it would cost me more to buy one.

I got to work. First, laid out the wreath in the style and design I though would look good. Then, heated up the glue gun and decided to put the baby together.

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Worked section by section, gluing down the flowers and tucking them into the wreath. I was a mad scientist trying to get this completed before I got the kids off the bus. I knew they would want to use the glue gun, so I had to work swiftly. Now I am sure that a professional would have the flowers better balanced and laid out, but there is something rewarding about creating it yourself. I don’t think Martha Stewart will be hiring me any time soon, but in the meantime, this is good enough.

My masterpiece!

My masterpiece!

 

 

 

 

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Weight Watchers Check In

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I would love to say that I lost 5 pounds in the last two weeks, but the truth is that its only a measly 1.5 pounds. I don’t even know if that counts as weight loss. My scale somehow has this crazy ability to go up or down two to three pounds depending on where on my bathroom floor that you place it. I move it around until I get a number that I can live with.

The scary thing is that my scale is four pounds less than my doctors office scale, so if I actually tack on that additional weight, watch out Oprah, because Nina’s coming to town. Seriously, the scale is the devil and they should never have been invented.

I will say that I have used all the new Weight Watchers gadgets, mobile apps and scanners that instantly give you the point values on your food. It is a huge improvement from years ago when you had a little paper book that you had to write everything down and a point calculator in your pocket. WW does make it easy to track what you are eating.

My neighbors who encouraged me to join WW, decided that we need weekly WW meetings. So last night we had our first Skype WW meeting. It was pretty funny. We tried to make some sort of formalized meeting about our weeks highs and lows, while I secretly watched myself in the side bar and just how scary I looked, and wondering if they think I looked as wretched as I thought.

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I will say that my high was not gaining any weight and my low was mid week binging on four girl scout cookies because I didn’t loose any weight. My behavior is totally counterproductive and one would think that I wouldn’t want food, but it just has the opposite effect on me. I figure what difference is it going to make, this cookie is going to make me feel good.

So the take away is that you can’t weigh yourself until your weigh in day-no cheating!. I am also experiencing the feeling of hunger, which is a good thing. I had forgotten what that felt like, as I was always eating. As I enter week three, I am going to eat all my points, indulge when I want to, try to exercise three times a week to start, and lets see where this party train goes.

 

 

 

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Spring Home

 

I love the web site Houzz. Its a new found addiction for me, as it makes me want to spend money that I don’t have. You can grab great ideas for your house or just look at other peoples. Something happens to me when the calendar turns to March 1st, somehow I instantly want to throw out everything I have and start over. It must be the grime and clutter of the winter that I can not stand for another minute. I have no idea where to turn or where to start my Spring update. I saw this great article on Houzz and it told me exactly what to do. Hope you find it useful too.

 

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Grease is The Word and Good for the Soul

imagesWhile still basking in the afterglow of seeing Grease on Friday night, I find myself not able to sleep.  I feel the need to share, which is unlike me .I don’t typically post mainly because I don’t think anyone would want to hear what I have to say (and I am certainly not an expert on anything!)… but I have the most inspiring friend who started this website and I want to make her proud and purge myself at the same time.

2357179So where is this need to share coming from?  Well, I saw Grease at the Regent Theater in Arlington on Friday night with two dear childhood friends (of whom I consider the sisters I never had).  I have to say I literally smiled for two hours straight!  Grease was my all-time favorite childhood movie (we’ll get to the irony of that in a minute).  I must have seen it 300 times growing up, not to mention the fact that I produced, directed and starred in many a neighborhood production of the show (just ask my friends how much fun they had acting and singing under my direction) I even dressed as Sandy for Halloween probably 6 years in a row (each year switching off whether I would be “Good Sandy” or “Bad Sandy”).

The movie was slated to be a “sing-a-long” which I know sounds rather campy and downright silly.  But I have to say it was pure joy!  The nostalgia of it all coupled with the fact that I was spending time with my “sisters” made for a fantastic night!   A stand out of had to be the young girl, probably 7 or 8 years old – just the age when I started to LOVE Grease as a child, who sang her heart out, gasping and sighing every time she said “Danny Zuko” when he appeared onscreen (because she just couldn’t help herself).  She also said “THAT’S GROSS” when she witnessed Rizzo and Kenicke French kissing (rather sloppily I might add).  This was clearly the little girl I never had!

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What is more remarkable about this evening, is that it has made me look inside myself.  It has reminded me of a passion that I have for musical theater.  It has gotten my creative juices going.  So much so that I have been tossing around ideas of how I could develop a real production of Grease in our schools (or not, if the powers that be would not allow).  It is amazing how much a simple thing like this has done to impassion me.  Having been through a divorce and more recently the dissolution of a relationship, I feel as if I have lost myself a bit.  Unearthing any piece of me that makes me happy is like finding a hidden gem.

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Now – here is the irony I promised to comment on.  Seeing the movie again as an adult and now a mom, I could not believe how amazingly inappropriate it is for children and teens.  Here are just a few of the vices portrayed that come to mind:  peer pressure, bullying, unprotected sex / teen pregnancy, conformity. It actually seemed as if the underlying message of the entire film is that you should change yourself for the sake of a relationship!  Think about if – Danny becomes a jock for Sandy, and Sandy becomes a hussy for Danny. For these reasons, I can certainly understand why schools would not be rushing to put on a production of Grease.  Moreover, anyone who has ever made the mistake of changing themselves in any way for the sake of a relationship knows that it is doomed.

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Which brings us full circle to my reason for this post.  Not that I ever really “changed myself” for the sake of a relationship, but I certainly fell into the trap of failing to acknowledge and feed the parts of myself that made me happy.   This, of course, can slowly lead to the same ultimate end result – losing yourself in a relationship.  So, Grease really did feed my soul.  I Just hope I can hold on to this momentum.

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Weight Watchers Here I Come

How's the diet going?I have finally hit rock bottom or maybe I should say top of my weight scale. I have tried loosing weight over the past few years with no success. Let’s see, I have done personal training, group training, boot camps, various nutrition programs, no carbs, low carbs, higher protein, not eating after 7pm, individual counseling with a nutritionist and the list just goes on and on. I have read various books: Eat to Live, The Core Diet, The Hormone Diet, Volumetrics, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, and all have great principles in their own right but for some reason I struck out.

I do have a million excuses, which I do think are valid, going through menopause at 38, going on an antidepressant a couple years ago to deal with my step fathers death, which since that time I have a gained 30 pounds. I feel like my metabolism has just stopped.  Is it elevated cortisol, not eating the right food combinations, portion control, wrong types of exercise? It must be a combination of all of the above, I just want to give up.  So now I am almost 50 pounds over my goal weight. Just to say that makes me cringe, but I am coming clean.

Do I have no willpower? No follow through. I see friends stop drinking soda and they loose, or make very small adjustments to their lifestyle and they are two pant sizes smaller. In talking with the nutritionist, she said there is a study of about 30,000 people who lost over 75 pounds and kept it off, and the bottom line is that they all lost and kept it off in their own way; that wasn’t the answer I wanted. I am looking for that silver bullet that will work. She tells me that I need to find my own formula and its trial and error, really, thats great, because I am close to only being able to fit into sweatpants.

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My favorite card from Oatmeal Studios.

Total body Liposuction is what I need.

I joined a gym in another town so I didn’t run into people I know. I think when you have a significant amount of weight to tackle you want to do it privately. So in a weak moment, I purchased the Jillian Michael’s Weight Revolution. I was memorized by the infomercial, transformation in 90 days, too good to be true. The box finally arrived and I opened it and thought what the hell was I thinking. I am not going to do this everyday, although I need too, but forget it, I just packed it up and out the door it goes.

Yesterday I joined Weight Watchers on line. Now I have tried this several times over the years. The first time was when I weighed 114 pounds around my wedding 13 years ago and I was upset that I had gone from 110-114. I think I needed my head examined. I haven’t had the greatest success with it, but my next door neighbors joined so I am jumping on the bandwagon again.

My husband told me this morning that he is proud of me for joining and told me that he has watched me in my “habitat” over these years and that my key to WW is not to modify. I love to modify just about everything. So today is the first real day of my WW journey, we will see if this is the magic I have been looking for. 

If you have tried WW I would love you to share your success.

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Best Eye Cream

EC_hyaluronI have fallen in love with a new eye cream. I have been trying alot of new products lately and the Hyaluronic Eye Cream from Mario Badescu seems to be working. I have been using it morning and night for about three weeks now. I have noticed fine lines have lessened and my eyes are much more hydrated. My concealer stays put and I just love the light feel of it.

It’s $18 which is a great price, considering a lot of drugstore brands are just as much. I ordered it on line from the site, and there was free shipping and they also sent me 3 trial sizes of my choice.

I also read all the reviews on the Mario Basdescu site and on amazon. They were all great with the exception of a couple of people who seemed to have a reaction. It is an aloe based formula and it will keep your eyes hydrated all day. If you have a Nordstrom you can try it there.

If you don’t use an eye cream it is never too late to start. You will be happy to have the eyes of a 40 year old when you are 80.

I just love it, and I think you will too.

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The Bittersweet End of Thumbsucking

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My sweet peanut and her thumb

My oldest daughters thumb sucking began when she was four months old. We all thought it was just the cutest thing we had ever seen. Her little hand covered her face and all you could see were these big blue eyes. I was thankful that she didn’t take a binki and that she could always self soothe as her thumb was always there. No late nights feeling around a crib for those little plastic pacifiers.

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Our beloved bubbies

As the years rolled on, the thumb sucking never ceased, but coincided with sniffing and smelling her B- another word for blanket with a bear head on top. Her thumb had a huge callous from all the love and her bubbies had also shown the wear and tear of years of love, holes and tattered ends of this tiny bear. We had many nights where bubbies was missing and no one got any sleep until he was found. He had been FedExed to Maine, driven to parts unknown to get my daughter to sleep as it was a two part process- Bubbies: thumb + Bubbies=good night sleep.

My daughter is now in third grade and as a family we decided that it was time to stop the thumbsucking. I know that it should be entirely her decision, and no bride walks down the aisle with her thumb in her mouth, but I could see my orthodontic bills getting bigger as the months rolled on. It was time for action.  Her teeth were getting splayed out and I think seeing a nine year old with their thumb in their mouth a bit strange. Every night I would go into her room and pull her thumb out of her mouth once she was asleep. It was my way of protecting her teeth.

My girlfriend had already started the process with her daughter and had done all the research. The easiest solution was a product called Malva Stop from Amazon- you paint it on the nails and it tastes bitter and awful, sounded good to me so I ordered a bottle. The first night we are ready for bed and I asked my daughter if she was ready. She said ready as ever and we painted away.31lnBTLZpKL._AA160_

She had a hard time falling asleep, I had to rub her back to get her mind off her thumb. It was a night by night process, but after two weeks she was thumb free. I couldn’t believe it, she said she didn’t even have the desire to do it and callous was disappearing. We decided that if she could make it a month then we would go out and celebrate.

As my daughter is celebrating this new level of maturity, crossing into her pre-teen years thumb free, I all of a sudden have a moment of sadness. My little girl is now gotten big, officially! I can remember her little face, thumb in mouth at all times. I missed it. So we both looked through our photo albums, seeing how she’s grown through the years and talked about all the great things that were to come, and then we decided to celebrate with pedicures and Friendlies ice-cream.

One comment

  1. Nana says:

    My dear sweet Sofia, you are growing up and I’m so proud of you
    I will miss seeing your bubbie, but perhaps it deserves a place of honor like your Mum’s Winnie-The-Poo. Will celebrate when I come down. xxoo Nana

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The Fish Chronicles

They way my fish tank should have been.

The way my fish tank should have been.

This has been quite a week, we have been very busy setting up our new fish tank that Nana gave the girls for Christmas. We have always had a variety of interesting pets over the years, an iguana called Sundance, which is whole story in itself, a goldfish called Mr. Fish who lived for many years, two tree frogs, two mini frogs and a hermit crab. All of these animals lived a good life with us, slightly neglected but good just the same, may they rest in peace.

We have been taking a “pet break” for a while as we have been sharing my mothers dog Daisy as a sort or part-time pet. Needless to say the girls were crying for a new “something.” Nana surprised them with a new fish tank and all was right with the world.

So, we got the 5 gallon tank all filled with colored sand and decorations, I think it looks pretty cool I must say. The girls and I went to Petsmart to select our fish. I thought we were going to grab a fish and go, but we had a full education on goldfish, fish that need a heater, etc, etc. Seriously, we just need a basic goldfish, one that lives in cold water, will need minimal care and we are good. The girls selected a calico goldfish and my youngest a black goldfish with big bulging eyes. She thought he was the greatest, hence the name Blackie Big Eyes. We acclimated them to our tank and had a whole 24 hours of bliss.

One morning we look at Big Eyes and he is covered in this grey like matter, almost like a mold. He was tilting sideways and we knew this wasn’t good. My youngest asked if he was going to be ok, and I honestly couldn’t say. So once they got on the bus, I scooped up my little fish and headed to the local pet store, not Petsmart as they would have flushed him away.

There I am driving with my fish in a container, feeling awful for this little guy that was entrusted to us. ( I also have to say that I felt like a crazy woman driving around with this fish, maybe I need to go back to work full time) The owner of the pet store said we had a very sick fish and that it would take about six weeks for him to get better. I walked out with $25 worth of items, an anti fungal for all sorts of fish ailments, a P.H kit for my water and some other misc fish items. The process was that I was to treat the tank every 24 hours while switching out half the water and do this for six days. This was as bad as having to rotate my new mattress for three months, which I might add I had to do this morning.

So back in my anti-fungal treated water, I removed the filter and sat and waited.  Big eyes looked awful, but I wanted to see if we could help this $5 fish. After three days he finally passed and I didn’t know what to do with him. Did I save him for my daughter or flush him away? There is no parenting handbook for this situation. I decided to take a picture of him in the toilet to show her. I know you are cringing right now, its really weird to do. I wanted her to at least get to see him.

Poor Big Eyes

Poor Big Eyes

I told my youngest about Big Eyes and having flushed him down the toilet and showed her the picture. She was mad that I didn’t save him to bury him in the yard. I told her that he was flushed out to the ocean to be with the other fish. She said ” he’s not with the other fish he’s in the sewer with all the poop.” Ok, yes she was right, I stated they clean the water and have two pipes, one for clean water and one for sewer. My lies just kept getting worse and worse, so it was time to kiss and say goodnight.

My he rest in peace

May he rest in peace

 

 

 

 

I turned out to be no better than Petsmart flushing away our short lived pet, and also proved that the only pet we should have is an air plant.

Note: My daughter just walked down and saw this post and said ” hey don’t flush my next fish down the toilet Missy!.”.. note to self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One comment

  1. tarra says:

    This post is hysterical!! we ALMOST bought Sloane a fish for Christmas but luckily smartened up before the purchase.

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Excuses…Excuses and What I learned in 2012

I have to start this post with an apology. The last time I wrote was at Thanksgiving and I had all sorts of great intentions on writing inspiring posts over the month of December, some great recipes, cool crafts for the kids, great gift ideas, some awesome product reviews. Clearly nothing of the sort happened. I am going to run down my list of excuses:

I ran my kids holiday gift room at our elementary school which consumed me for the first two weeks of December. My husband concluded that I cant have a full time job because this project proved that I can’t manage the house or anything else.

I pulled a tendon in my right foot and ended up in a boot for a week ( supposed to be three weeks, but seriously, I had a gift room to run.) I might mention that I was trying to be extra fit and attempted running on the treadmill, it was either that or doing Gangnam style with my girls.

The following week we had my daughters holiday dance show and then off to my in-laws to celebrate Hanukkah. Upon returning to the doctor to have my foot checked, I ended up with a biopsy on my left pinkie toe and left me in a surgical shoe for 10 days. Thank goodness all is well, turns out to be a mole in my nail bed- now that is something I never knew you could have. The body is a mystery.

Biopsy Toe

 

Then the worst, most horrific thing I have heard, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I wish I had something to say to reflect on the event, however I was and have been speechless about the massive and senseless loss of innocent lives. My mind has been and continues to think about these children, teachers and parents and families of those who lost their lives. Moving through the holidays in a joyous place was so hard, thinking and praying for all those who were and continue to suffer a loss that is too painful to even try to comprehend. I didn’t feel like it was my place to write about it, as its all too raw to handle. As time moves on, there will be a time to reflect on the events in Newtown.

So it is now the end of the year 2012 and I wanted to share my top five things I learned in 2012.

1. Life is unpredictable, and the saying is so true: Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. 

2. Try not to worry so much, as a dear friend said to me ” its like praying to your fears.”

3. Love and cherish those around you. Always take the time to say how you feel and give that extra hug or kiss. 

4. Take care of yourself, try to eat well, rest and find joy in your day. It will make you a better parent, friend, daughter to those around you. You need to be your own best friend. 

5. Be the example of what you want to be in the world. Be kind and thoughtful to others. You never know what its like to be in another shoes. 

Have a peaceful New Year and see you in 2013.

 

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